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II.

Wellwood's

vol. 3.

p. 364.

come to darken truth by subsequent additions of their own, CHARLES must be deferred till the great account to be made before a higher tribunal: and till then, a great part of the popish plot, Memoirs. as it was then sworn to, will, in all human probability, lie Complete among the darker scenes of our English history "."

England, The two houses now under apprehensions of the increase of popery, and the danger which might arise from that quarter, An act for passed a bill, which was signed by the king, “ for the more Papists effectual preserving the king's person and government, by dis-inom sitting abling Papists from sitting in either house of parliament.” By house of parthis statute, no peer or commoner is allowed to be a member of either house, unless they first qualified themselves by taking the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and likewise subscribed and audibly repeated the declaration following :

“I, A. B., do solemnly and sincerely, in the presence of God, profess, testify, and declare, that I do believe that in the sacrament of the Lord's supper there is not any transubstantiation of the elements of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, at or after the consecration thereof, by any person whatsoever ; and that the invocation or adoration of the Virgin Mary, or any other saint, and the sacrifice of the mass, as they are now used in the Church of Rome, are superstitious and idolatrous. And I do solemnly, in the presence of God, profess, testify, and declare, that I do make this declaration, and every part thereof, in the plain and ordinary sense of the words read unto me, as they are commonly understood by English Protestants, without any evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation whatsoever, and without

any

dispensation already granted me for this purpose by the pope, or any other authority or person whatsoever, or without any hope of any such dispensation from any person or authority whatsoever, or without thinking that I am or can be acquitted before God or man, or absolved of this declaration, or any part thereof, although the pope, or any other person or persons, or power whatsoever, should dispense with or annul the same, or declare that it was null and void from the beginning.

The statute concludes with a proviso, “that nothing con- 30 Charles 2. tained in this act shall extend to his highness the duke of cap. 1. York.”

לל

97

1 This Complete History of England, in three volumes, folio, was edited by Dr. Kennett, whose account of the Stuarts was severely criticised by North.

The long

A.D. 1669.

A.D. 1680.

SAN- On the 24th of January, the long parliament, which had sat
CROFT,
Abp. Cant. seventeen years, was dissolved, and another summoned to meet

at Westminster on the 6th of March following. The convoparliament cation for the province of Canterbury met on the 3rd of April,

but did no business. May 3. Archbishop

In May following, James Sharp, archbishop of St. Andrew's, Sharp assas- was murdered by nine Cameronian assassins. These wretches sinated.

assaulted him on the road in his coach, first wounded some of his retinue and his daughter, and then gave him two-andtwenty wounds with sword and pistol. He was a prelate of great natural parts, well improved with books and business. He had a share in retrieving the Scottish Church and government; and did his part towards restoring episcopacy and the royal family.

In England, the new parliament being dissolved this summer, another was summoned to meet at Westminster, on the 17th of October, but was, by several prorogations, continued

till the 21st of October, 1680. From this time the session held cation does till the 10th of January following, and then being prorogued to no business the 20th of the same month, the houses were dissolved. The two ensuing next day after the meeting of the parliament, both the convocaparliaments.

tions were assembled, and continued to the 21st of January, but nothing of business was done by either by them.

This year the lord bishop of London, in hopes to recover the Dissenters to the communion of the Church, wrote to Monsieur Le Moyne, professor in divinity at Leyden ; to Monsieur L'Angle, preacher to the reformed Church at Charenton, near Paris; and to Monsieur Claude, another learned French divine, who had signalised himself against Monsieur Arnauld's “ Perpetuity of the Faith.” The design of his lordship's letters was, to receive the judgment of these divines upon the controversy between the Nonconformists and the Church of England.

I shall give the reader part of their answers sent to the bishop upon this head. To begin : Monsieur Le Moyne,

speaking of episcopal government, declares himself thus ; Part of M. “ What is there in it that is dangerous, or may reasonably Moyne's letter to the give an alarm to any man's conscience? If such a form of lord bishop spiritual administration is capable of depriving us of eternal touching the happiness, or shutting up the passages to heaven, who could formists. possibly get thither for more than fifteen hundred years to

Noncon

II.

gether? For during this whole time, no Churches in the CHARLES world have been under any other government. If episcopacy were thus destructive of truth and future happiness, is it imaginable that God would have given it such marks of open approbation, and suffer his Church to be thus tyrannically oppressed for so many centuries ? For who have all along governed this spiritual society? Who have been the members both of general, provincial, and diocesan councils ? Who are they that have combated the heresies with which the Church has been disturbed through every age? Were not these fathers the bishops? And has it not been the effect of their prudent conduct, next under God, that the word of God has made its way against all opposition, and that truth has triumphed over error? And, without tracing the history of the Sept. 5, Church to its beginning, who was it that recovered England in 4.D. 1680. the last century from the mispersuasions they lay under? Who was it that revived primitive belief in so wonderful a 899. manner? Was not all this compassed by the ministry, the zeal, and resolution of the bishops ?" After a great deal more to this purpose, he takes notice “ that all the Protestants of France, those of Geneva, those of Switzerland, Germany, and Holland, have a profound veneration for the Church of England. How comes it to pass, then, that the English should be thus singular in their conduct, thus unhappy in their belief, as to break with them? Is not this plainly coming to a rupture with all the Churches of antiquity, with all the eastern Churches, with all the Protestant Churches, who have always had a great regard for the English communion, upon the score of the purity of her doctrine and constitution ? Is it not a strange degree of severity and assurance, to excommunicate her without mercy, and to imagine themselves the only persons in England, or indeed in the whole Christian world, that are predestinated to eternal happiness, and maintain those truths that are necessary to salvation? Certainly one might draw a very disadvantageous parallel between these teachers and pope Victor, who would needs excommunicate the Asian Churches, because they would not keep the Easter festival upon the same day it was observed at Rome : the comparison inight be carried farther between these ministers and the Audæans, who went off from the communion of the Church, and would not endure the bishops should be any thing wealthy: between

ii

VOL. VIII.

לל

M. De

the same

SAN- them and the Donatists, who would maintain no spiritual cor-
CROFT,
Abp. Cant. respondence with those who had been ordained by bishops that

had been traditors; the Donatists, I say, who fancied their
society the only true Church, and that the

spouse

in Canticles fed his flock in the south.”

To take leave of Monsieur Le Moyne, who has sufficiently L'Angle's letter upon discovered his opinion in what has been recited already. Mon

sieur De L'Angle shall be the next. After some introductive subject.

lines of ceremony, he comes close to the question, and argues upon the following acknowledgment. “Since,” says he, “the Church of England is a true Church, --since her worship and doctrines are pure, and have nothing in them contrary to the Word of God,—and since, at the English Reformation, episcopacy, the liturgy, and ceremonies now used were jointly established at the same time,-it is, without doubt, the duty of all the reformed of that kingdom to keep themselves inseparably united to your Church ; and those, who decline such conformity, upon pretence they must insist upon more plain and unornamented ceremonies, and have less inequality amongst the ministers, are undoubtedly guilty of a great sin : for schism is the most terrible evil that can possibly happen to the Church.”

After this, he cites the authorities of Calvin and Beza in approbation of the English episcopacy. In the close of the letter, Monsieur De L'Angle acquaints his lordship M. Claude is entirely of the same opinion. However, it may not be amiss to let this last divine speak a little for himself.

To pass over some of his letter more remote from the concap: 8, art .3. troversy in hand, I shall begin with that part of it in which Edit. Francf. he delivers his judgment concerning the Independents. “I Nov. 29,

could wish with all my soul,” saith he, “that those who fly out Stylo novo, so far as to think of nothing less than coming to an absolute M. Claude's rupture, and throwing off all dependence and subordination, in

order to give every particular congregation a sort of sovereign argument.

government,—I could wish these people would thoroughly consider, whether their scheme is not a direct contradiction to the spirit of Christianity, which is a spirit of union and social correspondence, and not of division; that they would consider, that, though the principle of the reformed Churches will by no means suffer men should have dominion over their faith,' and govern

the conscience at discretion, and that such arbitrary

Oct. 31.
Calvin.
Edit.
Amstel.
tom. 8.

p. 60.

Beza contra
Sarrav. ad

A.D. 1601.

letter upon the same

II.

and implicit methods are destructive to religion,—that, not- CHARLES withstanding this,- it does by no means follow that it is lawful for Christians to take check at discipline, to throw off the yoke of government, and deprive themselves of those assistances which are the consequences of general union; and that such a subordination in the parts of this spiritual society is very serviceable to secure orthodox belief and regular practice. And, lastly, I desire they would consider, that the same reason which makes them insist upon the independence of one congregation upon another will carry them much farther than they desire, and may be made use of to break the union of particular congregations, and make every single person independent of each other: for one congregation has no more right to claim an independency of other congregations, than one single person has to set up himself independent of others in the same congregation. This principle, therefore, must of necessity destroy all discipline, throw the Church, as far as in us lies, into a horrible confusion, and expose the heritage of our Lord' to the reproach of the adversaries.

“ As for those amongst you,” continues Monsieur Claude, “who are called Presbyterians, though I persuade myself they are not unfurnished with knowledge, judgment, and zeal, yet I could wish with all my heart they had shown more temper in resenting the scandal they fancy has formerly been given them by the bishops, and that they had distinguished the order from the men.

Persons in public stations are not only liable to miscarriage, but it may happen that the most holy and considerable functions are sometimes managed by ill people ; and, in this case, both reason and religion will tell us, that the minister and the employment ought not to be intermixed and thrown together; and since at present, by the blessing of God, there is no such pretence for disgust, and that my lords the bishops are remarkable for their piety, their zeal, and constancy to their religion, I hope the advantage of their example will have a good effect upon the generality, compose the minds of those formerly disaffected, and sweeten their disposition. Besides, the Dissenters should please to consider, that, if the episcopal government is attended with some troublesome inconveniences, as I do not question but it may be,-so, on the other side, the Presbyterian constitution is not without very great disadvantages. No order or function, where mortal

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